[Ed. – We can hope that the prospect of actual break-up is a bit overstated here — but the evidence of ethnic discontent is very real. We should not expect to see a rehash of the Civil War in the 1930s. But we can expect to see things like ISIS trying to exploit internal divisions, and Russia (i.e., as opposed to Germany) backing Spanish nationalists who could take a more authoritarian line to enforce unity. As NATO flounders in impotence, more of Europe’s old divisions will come to the fore.]
Spain is once again about to fall apart. This time it may have a real problem in Catalonia, the prosperous industrial province on its northeast Mediterranean coast.
In November 2014, 80% of Catalonians polled favored independence in a non-binding election. The Spanish Constitutional Court ruled the plebiscite illegal; but the separatists did not give up. Elections this September 2015 have given Catalonia’s autonomous region a separatist legislature, well over half being secessionist (72 – 63), though the popular vote for these particular parties was only 48%. They are seeking independence in 2017. The battle is on.
Spain was and is a mess. Spain is at least five separate nations, speaking at least four languages, under one government. …
Spain is less a country than a very contentious contiguous empire of significantly different peoples.